Race Review

Monaco Grand Prix : Corner-by-corner guide

Based on an article published in The Sun in 2017. Read the original article – here

MONACO may be the shortest and slowest circuit in the F1 calendar but it remains arguably the most famous track in the world.

With stunning scenery and a wealth of history, Monte Carlo has been a regular circuit in F1 since the 1950s. It is the shortest track of the season and features some of the slowest corners.

Monaco has some of the most recognised corner names in F1, so here they are in turn by turn order…

Turn 1 – Sainte Devote

Behind the barriers of the first turn of the Monaco Grand Prix is a small chapel called Saint Devota.

It’s tough to catch a glimpse of the historic building on race day as it is covered up by both barriers and advertising.

But this corner is like plenty of other first turns on the F1 calendar in the sense there is a lot of drama on the first lap as it is a tight right-hand turn.

A number of glamorous yachts line up in the harbour for race day

Turn 2 – Beau Rivage

Beau Rivage – stands for “beautiful coastline” in French – but like the chapel, on race day, the view is interrupted by a set of glamorous yachts lined up in the harbour.

It is a high-speed uphill stage of the circuit as drivers pick up speeds of 155 mph as they try and get away from the busy first turn.

But despite this speed, drivers have to be careful they don’t put their foot down too much as they enter Massenet

Turn 3 – Massenet

Massenet is named after the opera composer Jules Massenet.

The opera house is alongside the turn, with a bust statue of Massenet placed outside of the building.

The long left-hand corner then takes the drivers into Casino Square.

Turn 4 – Casino Square

One of the most iconic stages of the track is Casino Square as the circuit weaves around the Casino and its surrounding water fountain and garden.

The cars sweep past the casino, which surprisingly does not allow citizens of Monaco to gamble on their building.

The Monaco casino is part of the stunning scenery in Monte Carlo

Monaco, Casino : EPA

Turn 5 – Mirabeau Haute

The drivers then head downhill into Mirabeau which frequently sees drama due to pile ups, leading to crashes.

It sees the cars rush into the tight right-hander before the slowest and one of the most memorable turns on the F1 calendar.

The turn is also named after a hotel which is on the side of the track.

Turn 6 – Grand Hotel Hairpin 

When people think of Monaco, this turn usually comes to mind.

As previously mentioned, it is the slowest corner on the F1 calendar, with drivers going at just 30mph.

It was previously known as the ‘Station’ and ‘Loews’ Hairpin.

Monaco, Hairpin : Getty Images

Turn 7 – Mirabeau Bas

The second and lower (Bas) Mirabeau corner on the exit of the hairpin. 

Turn 8 – Portier

Something a lot of F1 fans remember this corner for is when Ayrton Senna famously crashed in 1988.

The legendary Brazilian was a minute ahead of his team-mate and rival Alain Prost before his crash handed Pros the victory.

The corner is named after an area in Monaco, which is also a catholic order.

Turn 9 – The Tunnel

The drivers then put their foot down as they drive through the wonderous tunnel in the Monaco Grand Prix.

When the weather is sunny for race day, drivers are hit with the beaming sunlight after they have driven through the indoor part of the track.

Turn 10 – Nouvelle Chicane

The drivers then go down a steep hill before having to heavily brake ahead of the sharp chicane.

This part of the race has been part of this historic circuit and was initially called the Chicane du Port, with it being right next to the luxury yachts.

This is one of the very few overtaking points on the circuit.

The chicane was renovated in 1986 and was renamed the Nouvelle Chicane – ‘Nouvelle’ meaning ‘new’.

Monaco, Chicane : EPA

Turn 12 – Tabac

There is then a sweeping left hand turn and this corner is virtually the same as the original track.

It was named after a small tabacco shop on the side of the track.

This turn has seen some heavy impact crashes.

Turn 13 – Louis Chiron

Now, there are essentially two chicanes which take the cars around the swimming pool.

The first of these is also known as the Virage Louis Chiron, named after one of Monaco’s three F1 drivers. Chiron finished third at the first F1 world championship Monaco Grand Prix in 1950.

Turn 14 – Swimming Pool

Following Tabac, the cars would have a long straight, but in the 1970s a swimming pool was built – forcing the track to adapt.

This introduced two new corners which are both equally challenging as drivers are reluctant to drop their speed through the tight turns.

Monaco, The Swimming Pool : Getty Images

Turn 16 – La Rascasse

Heading into the second to last turn and it was named after an old fisherman’s restaurant but it is now a high class diner.

Michael Schumacher famously stopped during qualifying in 2006, which stopped his rival Fernando Alonso from beating him time and taking pole position.

Turn 17 – Anthony Noghes

The final corner of this stunning track is named after the founder – Anthony Noghes.

He was behind the first every Monaco Grand Prix.


Once they have finished the final corner the drivers then go flat out over the start/finish line.


Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan

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